Starting from Scratch

I've never been a big runner but I've decided to get into it properly with my long term (very long term) goal to run a marathon. I'm starting from Couch 2 5k and I was wondering if anyone could give me advice in general for how to keep focused on my running.

I'm an overweight 25 year old trying to lose weight and get healthy. Already I'm looking for excuses to give up such as period cramps, headache, long day in work etc. I want to run 5k enough without worrying I can't do it so I can start training for a 10k.

Any advice/support etc. would be great. Thanks!
"it does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop"

Comments

  • Leigh83Leigh83 ✭✭
    Doing something like couch to 5k will be a really good way to build up slowly. When did you start it and how far are you through it?

    I did my first 5k at the weekend d and it was brilliant. It's a really good goal to have. Is there a 5k in a couple of months you could sign up for?
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  • join your local park run 5k and even walk it for your first few times until you feel ready to jog and eventually run it. The feel of participating with others is a huge motivating factor to offset the gloom of solo training and you'll probs meet some decent friendly people, especially the week in week out volunteers
  • > @resurrectonomitron said:
    > I've never been a big runner but I've decided to get into it properly with my long term (very long term) goal to run a marathon. I'm starting from Couch 2 5k and I was wondering if anyone could give me advice in general for how to keep focused on my running.
    >
    > I'm an overweight 25 year old trying to lose weight and get healthy. Already I'm looking for excuses to give up such as period cramps, headache, long day in work etc. I want to run 5k enough without worrying I can't do it so I can start training for a 10k.
    >
    > Any advice/support etc. would be great. Thanks!

    I was in a similar situation a few months ago. I decided to sign up for a half marathon later in the year so downloaded C25K to start training, and like you was looking for excuses. I could never understand why people liked running because for me it was 30 minutes or so of torture, and I'd even be looking for excuses while I was doing the training (it looks like it's going to rain etc.) I'm now seven weeks in and while I don't love it, I don't look for those excuses anymore, and if I haven't run for a few days I find myself wanting to. I can also see signs that I'm losing weight. All I can say is that you will start to see progress when you do C25K. It is tough, and there might be weeks when you can't do it, but just repeat weeks if necessary, and you'll find yourself able to run a little further or a little faster, and the focus will come with it. What I find helps is loading a Spotify playlist with songs which motivate me - not "running" tracks, but music I like, so even if I hate the running session I've listened to some music I like, got out of the house and it cleared my head for a bit (mainly because my inner monologue is taken up with thoughts like "I can't do this", "my legs hurt" etc!) But good luck, and you'll get there!
  • GuarddogGuarddog ✭✭✭
    Well done on starting C25K.

    I've been running for over 10 years and I still go through excuses for not doing something. It is how you deal with those excuses. I tend to take the view that if I'm reluctant to do a training run and I do then actually go out the session somehow means more.

    As has been said Parkrun is a fantastic event, the people are incredibly friendly  and supportive and you don't feel as if you're on your own. And setting a PB is always good.

    In terms of running during the week are you able to run with friends or perhaps join a running group? Running that way tends to be a bit easier and it's a great social thing as well. I have seen C25K groups at Parkrun, so there may be one local to you. Or you could start one.

    There will be times when you will feel on top of the world and others where it just seems as if you're not getting anywhere. The important thing is not to get disillusioned. You've already taken the biggest step in just getting out there. And C25K is a really good way of getting you going. It will build you up at your own pace and you will see the improvement, not only in your weight loss goals but also in how far you can run and how your times drop. 

    If you're running on your own then having something to listen to is good, whether it's music, a book, even learning a language. Setting some short term achievable goals is good as well. Being able to run that bit further before you start to walk, extending the total distance by 5-10% each week.

    The biggest thing for me, especially in terms of weight loss, was Heart Rate Zone training. If you're able to get hold of a watch and a heart rate monitor then you can run in a particular zone. This ensures you're not over exerting yourself, and picking up an injury, and it's also good way to judge improvement as you have to go quicker and further to get your heart rate up. When I first started doing it I had people walking past me quicker than I was running and trying to stay in my zone. Very frustrating to begin with, but after a very short while that goes and seeing the progression is encouraging.

    Good luck with your training.
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